Montford Point Marine veteran in Birmingham awarded the Congress - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Montford Point Marine veteran in Birmingham awarded the Congressional Gold Medal

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Decades after fighting on the battlefields of World War II, 98-year-old James Carrington is finally recognized for his service.

Today, Congresswoman Terri Sewell awarded Carrington the Congressional Gold Medal.

"It's a feeling like I've never had before," Carrington said.

Carrington spent his time in the military as a member of the Montford Point Marines, the country’s first African Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corp.  For the generations after, Carrington and the Montford Point Marines were trailblazers.

“I know that the President wouldn't have the office that he has, nor would I be the first Black woman to represent Alabama in Congress had it not been for the courage and bravery of men like Mr. Carrington,” Congresswoman Sewell said.

Around his hospital bed this afternoon, Carrington was surrounded by “a few good men.”  Thought he’s been out of the Marines for decades, it’s a group he still holds dear with values he continues to treasure.

"I love the Marines. I really, really ,really love the United States of America,” Carrington expressed.

The Montford Point Marines were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in June 2012. This is the fifth medal Congresswoman Sewell has awarded in her district.

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